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Monday, July 11, 2011

50% Rye Bread with Dried Pears

Rye and Whole Wheat Bread, with Buckwheat flour and Dried Pears

A Tartine-style rye bread, made with Tartine methods, but not their recipe.  I'm just playing here, and being a bit inventive.

This has 50% Rye, 40% Whole Wheat, and 10% Buckwheat flour, made with 200g of my whole wheat leaven.  It has the obligatory salt 2%, water 76%, and I also tossed in some dried pears that I had on hand -- I think it was 48g of pears, so almost 5%.  I tried pulverizing them in the food processor, but when that didn't work, I just cut them fine with a knife.

In the beginning I found it easier to take the dough from the bowl to accomplish a turn.  After a couple of hours of this, though, the dough was simply too sticky and I abandoned all attempts at turning it.  I thought in the beginning I might try a couple of free-form loaves, but after it turned gooey, I opted to make these ryebreads in a tin.  Bulk fermented 4 hours, proofed in the tin 3 hours.

Since it was a hot day, I baked them outside on the propane barbecue, atop my firebrick, so as to not heat the house further.  I had to preheat those firebricks anyway, since the next loaves I was baking on the barbecue were going to be free-form loaves.

20 minutes with the 'lids' (tins upside down) on, and 20 minutes with them off. 


I'm mostly happy with the way these turned out.  I managed to keep the temperature at a pretty even 400 degrees, and that is no mean feat with an outdoor grill.  The firebrick may have evened out the heat too.  The tops of the breads got a little dried out, but they might have dried out in the oven too.

I tried spraying some water into the top of the barbecue during the first 3-4 minutes of the baking, but barbecues aren't really built to keep steam in.  Not sure if it helped or not.

My wife and son suspected that I'd included honey in this bread, although I did not.  The scent of the buckwheat probably gave them an olfactory memory, since we eat buckwheat honey at times.  I thought the pears were going to add a lot of sweetness to this loaf.  But it turns out, they did not.

I'm actually not a fan of the taste of this bread.  A bit too sour for my liking.  Something in the taste is just not quite right.  Maybe it is the buckwheat. 

Still, it is edible toasted with a bit of cheese.

Notes to Myself
  • Here's how it worked: I cranked up the barbie to middle range temperature to preheat it to oven temperatures and to make the firebrick hot.  I was only going to do this for 30 minutes, but ended up pre-heating for 50 minutes because I was distracted by dinner.  Then, the temperature was up to 700 degrees, so I lifted the lid and turned the temperature down to its lowest setting.  Here is where it stayed for the duration of the baking, and it stayed around 400 degrees F until right around the last loaf, when it dipped a bit to 350 degrees about 20 minutes into the baking.  The last loaf required a bit longer on the grill.
    Lifting the lid to start bread or adjust the loaves really drops the temperature, so you have to keep the lid down as much as possible.
  • You could have put some butter on the top crust after pulling it off the heat, just to soften it or moisten it up a bit.
  • Probably needed a bit of honey in the dough to make it more palatable.

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